PMFTC to spend $130M for local tobacco purchase

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    Cigarette giant PMFTC Inc. is eyeing to spend around $130 million for its Philippine tobacco leaf purchase over the next three years.

    “We share your concern on the plight of our local tobacco farmers, and we agree that immediate assistance must be extended to the affected farmers and their families,” said Denis Gorkun, PMFTC Inc. president, in a letter to secretaries Carlos Dominguez

    Of the Department of Finance (DOF) and William Dar of the Department of Agriculture and dated October 15.

    Gorkun said last year, PMFTC’s manufacturing operations bought 43 percent of its leaf purchases from local farmers to cater both domestic and export to 15 countries.

    “The industry volume continues to decline due to the annual increases in excise taxes and the proliferation of illicit cigarettes. Estimated volume of the local cigarette market decreased from 108.9 billion sticks in 2012 to 70.49 billion sticks in 2019 or a 35 percent decline in seven years,” Gorkun said.

    The company, however, remains committed to purchasing a substantial size of local tobacco leaf.

    Volume of purchases is expected at more than 45,000 tons of Philippines green tobacco leaf over the next three years. – A. Celis