Philippines: Duterte certifies alcohol, e-cigarette excise tax hike bill urgent

12 November 2019
 Christia Marie Ramos

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has certified as urgent a proposed law that will increase excise tax on liquor, e-cigarettes, and vapor products.

In a November 12-letter to Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Duterte underscored the “necessity of the immediate enactment” of Senate Bill No. 1074, which, he noted, will “address the urgent need to generate additional revenue to support the effective implementation of the Universal Health Care Act and to further protect the right and health of the people.”

Senator Pia Cayetano, chair of the Senate ways and means committee, submitted September 25 a report on the proposed increase in the excise rates of alcohol, e-cigarettes, and heated tobacco products for plenary deliberations.

The committee had adopted the tax adjustments presented by the Department of Finance, which had also earlier been approved by the House of Representatives.

Finance Undersecretary Karl Kendrick Chua earlier said the sin tax measure “is part of a broader agenda of investing in the Filipino people.”

He said the bill will generate an additional P47.9 billion in the first year of implementation and around P356.9 billion over the next five years, which would help fund the implementation of the Universal Health Care Act.

“The rate embodied in Senate Bill No. 1074 will deter consumption significantly which is the ultimate aim of the health measure,” he added. /kga