Philippines: DOF seeks higher taxes on electronic cigarettes

10 August 2019

MANILA – Shortly after a new law imposing higher excise taxes on tobacco products has been enacted, the Department of Finance is calling for an increase in the tax on electronic cigarettes and vapes.  

The department is proposing to raise the tax on vapes to P45, matching the excise tax on a pack of regular cigarettes by 2020, Finance Undersecretary Karl Kendrick Chua said during the Kapihan sa Manila Bay on Wednesday.

Under Republic Act No. 11346, which President Rodrigo Duterte signed last month, each cartridge, refill, pod or container of vapor products containing liquid solutions or gel of a quantity of up to 10 ml will be taxed P10 by Jan. 1, 2020.

The excise tax will go beyond P50 for quantities of more than 50 ml.

There is also a proposal to tax the vaping machine by 30 percent as luxury tax, Chua told reporters after the news forum.

“Definitely a tax on vape is on the table,” said Albay Second District Representative Joey Salceda, chairman of the House ways and means committee. “Definitely, we’ll increase it. P45 is our target.”

The tax would not be lower than P25, the lawmaker noted, saying he prefers the excise tax on vaping machines instead of the pods. 

The DOF is also seeking higher excise taxes on alcohol, from P25 to P28 per liter to P40 per liter. 

“As the country grows richer, as the people grow richer, they can afford, but the health cost, they cannot afford. So tinutulungan natin sila,” Chua noted. 

The revenue from taxes on alcohol, cigarettes, and sweetened beverages will fund the Universal Health Care law, the Finance official said. (GMA News)

Panay News