MANILA, Philippines— The two chambers of Congress have agreed on the final version of the Sin Tax Law.
The Bicameral Conference Committee on Wednesday (Dec. 18) approved the bill that proposes an additional tax on cigarettes, salty foods, alcohol and vapor products.
The bill provides for the application of the additional tax on fermented products from Php 35 in 2020 to Php 43 by the year 2024, while distilled products will be imposed with P35 to 66 taxes, wines with added Php 50 tax, and heated tobacco with additional Php 25 in the coming year.
The bicam has also approved the provision that prevents selling to vape products to buyers who are 21 years old and below.
“Kung ikaw ay hindi pa 21, definitely hindi pwede, tatanungin ka pa, nagyoyosi ka ba, kapag hindi ka nagyoyosi hindi ka pwede,” said House Committee on Ways and Means chairman, Rep. Joey Salceda.
This measure seeks to collect Php 24.9-Million taxes, and such will be used in the implementation of the Universal Health Care Act.
“I think all the health advocates sana mas mataas pa as a revenue measure, I had also hope na mas mataas,” Senate Committee on Ways and Means chair Pia Cayetano added.
The approved bill also provided for a clearer rule on VAT exemptions on medicines for diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol.
And by 2023, medicines for mental health, cancer, and tuberculosis will also be VAT-exempt. — (from the report of Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf
MANILA, Philippines – The Senate Committee on Ways and Means on Monday said that they are targeting to pass a bill that will press for sin taxes which are much higher than that of the House version.
This after President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday (November 12) certified Senate Bill 1074 that seeks to impose higher taxes on alcohol and e-cigarettes including heated tobacco products and vapes.
The higher sin tax aims to support the implementation of the Universal Health Care Act.
Committee chairperson, Sen. Pia Cayetano, said the higher sin tax will ensure that there will be sufficient funds for health services for all Filipinos and lesser consumption of the said sin products.
“I am pushing for a version that recommends higher tax rates than those approved by the House of Representatives for two reasons: first, it will provide proper funding for the delivery of health services to all Filipinos; and second, it will effectively reduce the consumption of sin products,” Cayetano said
In the House version, an estimated P47.9-billion tax will be collected and be allocated to the Universal Health Care program.
A total of P356.9-billion will be allotted for the program in the next five years. (with details from Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf
The Department of Finance (DOF) said there will be a funding gap of P62 billion for the recently passed Universal Health Care (UHC) if Congress will not increase sin taxes on tobacco and alcohol.
In a press briefing of the DOF and the Department of Health (DOH) on Friday (May 17), DOF Secretary Carlos ‘Sonny’ Dominguez III said there would be difficulty in implementing the UHC without new sources of revenue.
“If we do not establish new sources of revenue, we will not have enough funds to properly, fully implement Universal Health Care and ensure a better quality of life for all Filipinos,” he said.
He adds that if the increased sin taxes will be approved, the UHC can cover around 120 drugs to Filipinos.
Meanwhile, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said raising taxes will also reduce consumption leading to better health for Filipinos.
“Sin tax is first and foremost a health measure. When the prices of cigarettes and alcohol are higher, it is harder, especially for the youth to buy these very harmful products. We can only reduce consumption by making these “sin” products less affordable to consumers,” he said.
Both departments also envisioned the Philippines to be one of the healthiest in Asia by 2040. They propose to increase tobacco taxes by P60 per cigarette and P40 per liter of alcohol.
“With 9 days remaining in the 17th Congress, there is still time to collectively take action. We look forward to the support of our counterparts in the legislature, during this crunch time. This is the final round, tapusin na natin ang boksing, (Let’s finish the fight)” Duque added.
Senator Manny Pacquiao filed Senate Bill 1599 which aims to increase tobacco excise tax to P60 per pack in the first year of implementation, and an additional nine percent each year afterwards.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian filed Senate Bill 2177 raising tobacco taxes to P70 per pack while Senator JV Ejercito filed Senate Bill 1605 increasing tobacco taxes to P90 per pack.
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