Hopes up for passage of tobacco tax hike bill by June

By Leslie Gatpolintan

 

MANILA — An official of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) hopes that the measure seeking to increase the excise taxes on tobacco products will be passed in June.

“The sin tax is one of the things that we hope will pass before this Congress ends because we need a fiscal space…What will bring in the gains is the sin taxes especially since it is earmarked for the implementation of the universal health care program,” NEDA Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon told reporters Wednesday on the sidelines of a forum organized by Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines (EJAP).

Edillon pointed out that prices of tobacco in the country are still “competitive” compared with other countries.

She said higher taxes are also meant to curb consumption of sin products which brings about various health problems.

For his part, Moody’s senior credit officer Christian de Guzman cited gains of the Duterte administration in terms of tax reforms and how these benefited revenue generation.

“This government has gone far in terms of other kinds of reforms, which means extra spending down the road such as the universal health care… I think revenue measures are indeed will be very important,” he said during the forum.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte has certified as urgent Senate Bill 2233 seeking to increase excise taxes on tobacco products. (PNA)

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