Press Releases
DOLE releases livelihood kits to Tarlac tobacco farmers

120 tobacco farmers receive P10,000 worth of livelihood starter kits from DOLE.


San Manuel, TARLAC, September 24, 2020 - Some 120 tobacco farmers from San Manuel, Tarlac, the only tobacco-producing municipality in Central Luzon, received livelihood starter kits from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).


In an interview, DOLE Tarlac head Aurita Laxamana said that the P1.2 million fund for this project is under DOLE’s special funds for its livelihood program. “Annually, San Manuel is allocated a portion of the collected cigarette excise tax which is, in return, distributed as livelihood assistance to the municipality’s tobacco farmers,” Laxamana explained.


Each farmer-beneficiary received more than P10,000 worth of livelihood starter kits. Aside from personal protective equipment (PPEs), farming tools such as knapsack sprayer, shovel, and rake were also provided to the tobacco farmers.


Farming since he was a child, Esteban Beltran, Jr., now 53 years old, was one of the farmer-beneficiaries and was able to send his four children to school because of tobacco farming. “Kasama ang aking asawa, tatlo na po ang aking napa-graduate at bunso na lang ang natitirang nag-aaral pa. Ang pagsasaka na talaga ang ikinabubuhay namin,” Beltran said. (Together with my wife, 3 of my children were able to finish school except for the youngest who is still studying. Tobacco farming has been our source of living.)


Beltran expressed his gratitude to the Department for the PPE and tools he received. “Sa totoo po, napakalaking blessing po nitong ibinigay ninyo. Sa ngayon, ginagamit ko na po itong pangspray at dumali at bumilis ang aking pagtatrabaho. Minsan kapag inuupahan po ako para magsaka, may sarili at bago na akong gamit,” Beltran mentioned. (Truth is what DOLE gave is such a huge blessing. Now, I can already use the knapsack sprayer, and work has become easier and faster. Sometimes when my services are needed, I now use my own new tools.)


Meanwhile, Regional Director Ma. Zenaida A. Angara-Campita thanked and acknowledged San Manuel Mayor Donya Tesoro and San Manuel Public Employment Service Office (PESO) through PESO Manager Delio Tavisora for their assistance and continuous support to the Department’s initiatives and programs.

END/ A. Cunanan with reporting from Desire Julian of DOLE Tarlac

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