M a n i l a



WHEREAS, present practices in the curing of Virginia leaf tobacco involve the use of firewood so much so that forest resources are being depleted to such an alarming degree, not to mention the resulting forest denudation soil erosion and other disturbances of the ecological balance;

WHEREAS, preliminary studies have shown that there are efficient methods of curing Virginia leaf tobacco not necessitating the use of firewood;

WHEREAS, it will be more in consonance with present government programs on conservation of forest resources if new or other methods of curing Virginia leaf tobacco be introduced, developed and exploited, and dependence on firewood reduced gradually until its total elimination can be justified by the adoption of efficient and economical methods of curing without the use of firewood:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution, do hereby decree and order that;

Section 1. The indiscriminate use of firewood in the curing of Virginia leaf tobacco is hereby discouraged, and the adoption of curing methods employing non-conventional heat resources, particularly solar energy, natural and bio-gas generation, geothermal and coal, shall be initiated by the government through the Philippine Virginia Tobacco Administration (PVTA).

Section 2. For the purpose of encouraging the adoption of new methods or techniques in curing Virginia leaf tobacco, the PVTA shall render adequate material and financial assistance to any person inventing, introducing, adopting, and operating any machinery, contraption or structure used in the curing of Virginia leaf tobacco that does not involve the used of firewood.

Section 3. The PVTA itself shall take the initiative in the introduction and adoption of new curing methods or techniques without the use of firewood, and for this purpose, it is hereby authorized and directed to undertake studies for the development of non-conventional heat resources for curing Virginia leaf tobacco; to conduct research and development on production and curing techniques that may eliminate totally or partially the use of heat; to promote the development and use of briquetted waste materials from agriculture and forestry as alternative sources of heat for curing; and to encourage and stimulate the establishment by private enterprise of centralized curing system.

Section 4. The PVTA is hereby granted authority to construct, manage and operate for experimental and demonstration purposes curing barns using fuel substitutes like solar heat to construct, acquire or establish curing centers for lease or sale to private sectors; to encourage the organization of farmers' associations, cooperatives or corporations that may desire to engage in the business of curing Virginia leaf tobacco using new methods or techniques; and to provide such associations, cooperatives or corporations with financial assistance, through the banking system under the Integrated Agricultural Financing Program for the Ilocos Region, for the construction or acquisition, operation and maintenance and improvement or enlargement of such curing system.

Section 5. The PVTA may, for the purpose of its research and development activities, obtain the services of foreign consultants, as well as the assistance of scholars, scientists and technical personnel of any department, bureau or office of the Government which may be considered necessary. Such government personnel may be paid honoraria by the PVTA.

Section 6. The PVTA is also authorized to purchase such equipment, locally or abroad, as may be necessary to carry out its objectives. Further, the PVTA shall be exempt from all forms of taxes and import duties and other imposts on any materials, equipment, articles, goods and services that may be imported from abroad for use in the said studies, experiments, demonstrations and other related development programs, the provisions of the Tariff and Customs Code, as amended; the Internal Revenue Code, as amended; and other existing laws to the contrary notwithstanding.

Section 7. To enable it to carry out the purposes and objectives of this Decree, the PVTA is hereby authorized to make use or set aside any amount from the Tobacco Fund established under Republic Act No. 4155, which is not otherwise appropriated for any of the original purposes of the said Fund. It is also authorized to reorganize its present administrative set-up and to effect adjustments in salaries and emoluments to attract qualified technical personnel.

Section 8. The PVTA may receive such donations, bequests and grants from whatever sources, domestic or foreign, to finance its studies and researches. Such donations, bequests and grants shall be deductible in full from gross income and shall be exempt from donors and estate taxes.

Section 9. Any provision of existing general or special laws or decrees or issuances not consisting with the provisions of this Decree, shall be deemed modified, amended or repealed accordingly.

Section 10. This Decree shall take effect immediately.

Done in the City of Manila, this 27th day of May, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-seven.

The Lawphil Project - Arellano Law Foundation