MANILA - The Japan Tobacco International Inc (JTI) is eyeing increasing its procurement of locally produced tobacco to support farmers grappling with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the Finance Department said Monday.
JTI's planned procurement of 4.6 million kg of local tobacco leaf in 2021 is 1 million kg higher compared to this year, the DOF said.
The volume also exceeds the requirement under Republic Act No. 10351, which requires manufacturers and sellers to get at least 15 percent of their tobacco leaf raw material requirements from local sources, it said.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Agriculture Secretary William Dar earlier urged manufacturers to support tobacco-producing provinces.
JTI said its team was working to "explore the possibility of further increasing our local leaf tobacco purchases next year and in the coming years.”
"JTI Philippines is committed to support the Philippine government and the local tobacco farmers," general manager John Freda said.