Press Release
November 22, 2012


Senator Edgardo J. Angara underscored the need to make the sin tax bill equitable by setting aside a credit fund that will benefit affected stakeholders, particularly tobacco farmers.

Angara's proposal to create the credit fund was included in the final measure passed by the Senate on third and final reading on Tuesday.

The veteran lawmaker said the credit fund must be accessible to all eligible farmers from tobacco-growing provinces, and must provide low-cost loans.

"Tobacco farmers must be able to directly avail of the proceeds of the sin tax bill, since this has a huge impact on their livelihood. The credit facilities should have concessionary interest rates, rates that are equal to the administrative cost of the fund," he explained.

Angara, Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, said a portion of revenues from the measure can also be channeled toward establishing livelihood programs that will promote, enhance, and develop the tourism potential of tobacco-growing provinces.

"Part of the incremental revenue from the sin tax bill should be allocated to livelihood programs that will boost the tourism industry in beneficiary provinces. Such livelihood projects can make up for the potential loss in income of tobacco farmers, as well as provide for tourism-driven needs."

Angara, also a member of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, added, "We must consider the allocation of the taxation burden. We cannot neglect stakeholders such as tobacco farmers whose source of income for their family must also be secured."

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