Press Release
October 10, 2012

Ambush Interview of Senator Franklin M. Drilon (on Sin Tax Bill)

On Sin Tax Bill

The Committee Report will result in lower incremental taxes on cigarettes as compared to the House version; and earmarks amount for Philhealth and the DOH of 40% of the total excise tax will be for Philhealth enrollment, 10% will be for DOH, and P100 million will be allocated for information campaign on ill effects of smoking. The tax rates for those where the excise tax is less than P7.56 as of today will have an additional tax of P6; those with more than P7.56 but less than P12 will have P10 per pack, and those with excise tax of P12 or more as of now will pay P14 more. That's on the cigarettes packed in 20s. The three tiers will be reduced to two tiers in 2020.

It means that yung mababang presyo ng sigarilyo ay mas mababa ang buwis; doon naman sa mas mataas ay mas mataas ang buwis. Iyon po ang present system at iyon po ay sinundan ng Committee report.

Q: Na-water down ba?

I will not characterize it either way, I respect the right of the chairman of our committee to submit his version to the Senate. Of course, it will be subject to debate and amendments. Amendments will be voted upon by the member. I, myself, will propose an amendment and will submit it for the Chamber's consideration. That's how it works.

There should only be one rate as soon as feasible. Eight years of a period within which it will become one rate is too long. In my view, there should be one rate as soon as it is feasible and certainly eight years is too long because the number of tiers makes the administration difficult and also it makes cheaper cigarettes continuously available to the poorest sector which is the more vulnerable. They are the ones who would go to public hospitals and would have to be responded to by public health allocations

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