Philippines: DOF’s tobacco tax hike proposal lauded

28 January 2018:

A pro-health group yesterday welcomed Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III’s announcement that the Department of Finance’s (DOF’s) proposed tax package will include higher tobacco tax rates.

“Finance Secretary Dominguez’s pronouncement that their proposed tax package will include tobacco tax increase is a very positive development. We are relying on them to follow through on their commitment and actively push for tobacco tax increase in Congress,” said Mary Ann Fernandez Mendoza of HealthJustice Philippines, a think tank and advocacy group with legal expertise on tobacco control and health promotion.

“We recommend that their proposed tobacco tax increase be at least P60 per pack in order to save hundreds of thousands of lives in the Philippines,” she added.

On January 22, Dominguez announced that the DOF is set to submit to the House of Representatives a tax reform bill dubbed ‘package two plus, and a part of which is the tobacco tax increase.

“You see, the senators want to increase the tax on cigarettes. One wants to bring it up to P60, the other one wants to bring it up to P90…. But again we will discuss it,” Dominguez further stated.

Source: Manila Bulletin