January 10, 2019

Tobacco Tax Hike Certified As Urgent by Duterte

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  • President Rodrigo Duterte certifies the bill that would increase the taxes on tobacco and alcohol products as urgent.

    Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that Duterte agreed to certify Senate Bill No. 1599 during the first cabinet meeting held last Monday, January 7.

    Also Read: Comprehensive Tax Reform Program: What you need to know

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    The bill, proposed by Senator Manny Pacquiao back in 2017, modifies Republic Act 10351 or the Sin Tax Reform Act of 2012 and raises the tax on tobacco to Php 60 per pack (from Php 30) and tax on alcohol to Php 40 per liter.

    He also mentioned that the increase in alcohol and tobacco taxes could generate Php 60 to 70 billion in revenue for the country.

    Also Read: EO on nationwide smoking ban signed by Duterte

    According to Panelo, the tax hike is beneficial both in terms of health and revenue. The increase would be able to fund projects like the Universal Health Care Program and would discourage the public from excessive smoking.

    However, as per the Phil Tobacco Growers Association, the hike has affected tobacco production. The group described it as “worrisome” as cigarette taxes have already gone up seven times in the last five years. President of the association Saturnino Distor said that it has directly impacted their production which also caused the displacement of farmers.

    Also Read: TRAIN Package One: A Need-To-Know Guide to Republic Act 10963

    Sources: Inquirer.net and Rappler

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