Sin Tax Bill Philippines A Big Victory for ₱40 Billion

Sin tax Bill Philippines - Passed. Photo: Rappler.com

Voting 15-2, Senate OKs Sin Tax Bill

The Senate, voting 15-2, finally approved the controversial measure increasing excise taxes for cigarettes and alcohol products after senators intensely debated on the appropriate equal distribution of tax burden among the two so-called sin products.

Only two senators, Senators Joker Arroyo and Francis Escudero voted against the bill.

Those who cast a "yes" vote were

  1. Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile
  2. Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada
  3. Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III
  4. Sen. Franklin Drilon
  5. Gregorio Honasan II
  6. Pia Cayetano
  7. Lito Lapid
  8. Aquilino Pimentel III
  9. Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.
  10. Teofisto Guingona, III
  11. Loren Legarda,
  12. Ramon Revilla Jr.
  13. Manuel Villar
  14. Ralph Recto
  15. Panfilo Lacson.

Drilon, sponsor of the bill, and chair of the Ways and Means Committee, said the government stands to generate 40 billion in additional revenues with the passage of the measure.

THE UNIVERSITY of the Philippines Economics Towards Consciousness together with other UP school organizations hold a Sin Tax Consciousness Parade at the Diliman campus to inform fellow students about the advantages of passing the law.

Of the amount, 24 billion will come from increased taxes on tobacco, while 16 billion will be generated from taxes on fermented liquor and distilled spirits depending on its historical burden sharing.

Prior to the approval on third and final reading, Enrile demanded a re-computation of the multi-year tax burdens after seeing what he saw was a "distortion in the computation."

As approved in caucus, the aggregate sin tax collection target was pegged at 40-billion with a 60-40 percent burden sharing scheme which tobacco tax take was set at 24-billion and alcohol tax at 16-billion under the Senate version.

"After much negotiation, we have agreed on a three-tier system for taxes of cigarettes," Drilon said. "We have maintained a 60-40 burden sharing between cigarettes and alcohol. What are the totals that we expect to collect on a per year basis?"

Drilon enumerated them:

The total increment would be

  • 39.5 billion; in 2013
  • 45.7 billion; in 2014
  • 52.3 billion; in 2015
  • 57.7 billion; in 2016
  • 64.4 billion in 2017

The rates will be as follows. For the lowest priced, the excise tax for efective next year per pack would be  

  • 2013 will be 12.00
  • 2014, 15.00
  • 2015, 18.00
  • 2016, 21.00
  • 2017, 26.00.

On the medium priced cigarettes, the excise tax for 2013 will be 16.00; in 2014, 18.00; in 2015, 22.00; in 2016, 24.00; and in 2017, 26.00.  . For the highest priced, the excise tax for 2013 will be 20.00; in 2014, 21.00; in 2015, 22.00; in 2016, 24.00; and in 2017, 26.00.

Senate Bill No. 3299 otherwise known as "an Act Restructuring the Excise Tax on Alcohol and Tobacco Products" was adopted with 15 affirmative votes, two negative votes, and zero abstention.

 "The passage of this bill is monumental in the history of this chamber. Once again, amidst the differences in our views, we have proven that we care more about saving lives than generating revenues; and that we remain true to serving the nation above personal interest," said Drilon who went through tedious debates on the proposed measure.

President Aquino has certified the bill as urgent. (http://is.gd/wConSB)

Manila Bulletin 

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