Press Release
December 11, 2012

Sen. Ralph G. Recto's Explanation of Vote
on the Bicam Report on Sin Tax Bill

Let me begin by saying:

1. I support a reasonable, fair and realistic sin tax measure that raises significant amount of revenues, specifically earmarked for health insurance and improves health facilities and services, especially in the countryside

2. A measure that promotes and protects local manufacturing and job creation.

I cannot support a measure that:

1. Promotes foreign interests - Where tax rates on imported products will go down, be it distilled spirits or cigarettes, while increasing the taxes significantly on locally-made products

2. Puts in jeopardy the revenues we are already collecting - P77 billion, P1 per P17 comes from the local sin tax industry.

3. By increasing local taxes too high, a tax shock is created, which, therefore, incentivizes smuggling and illicit trade.

- Revenues and resources for health may not be realized.

4. More so, it took away clear earmarking for health insurance of 5 million families and P10-billion worth of improvements in health facilities in the countryside, where access to health care is needed the most.

- And assuming they are able to collect the revenues, why should we give them a blank check?

5. Furthermore, it turns a blind eye to job losses by deleting specific earmarks for unemployment benefits intended for displaced workers.

6. And finally, the math does not add up.

7. For all these reasons and more, I must respectfully vote No.

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