16 December 2016:
MANILA – A single tax rate for cigarettes, which will take effect next year, will make revenue collection easier for the government, former Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares said Friday.
Some lawmakers are pushing for the continuation of the current two-tier system, wherein more expensive cigarettes are taxed higher compared to lower-priced brands.
A unitary rate of P32 per pack will also discourage more people from smoking, Henares said. Signed in 2012, the Sin Tax Law was envisioned as a health measure that will raise funds for universal health care.
“Kung isang level lang, bibilangin lang namin ilang pack lumabas, times itong rate… Mas madaling kolektahin ang single tier at hindi paglalaruan ang presyo,” Henares said.
(If it’s just a single level, we will just have to count the number of cigarette packs and multiply it by the tax rate… It’s easier to collect from a single-tier because prices cannot be manipulated.)
“Maski anong presyo nung sigarilyo, pareho lang naman yung effect. Magkakasakit ka pa rin. Pareho rin yung sakit na macocontract niyo, pareho din yung gastos,” she added.
(All cigarettes have the same effect regardless of the price. Smokers will still get sick. They will get the same disease and will cost the same.)