Sin tax yield seen to exceed P30B

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    Kicking the habit. With excise tax rates on cigarettes in place until 2023, a bill proposes higher levies on their alternatives, heated tobacco and vapor products.
    Kicking the habit. DOF continues to disallow easing of sin taxes. (Photo by Rhoy Cobilla)

    DAVAO CITY. — The Department of Finance (DOF) is hoping the proposed excise tax increase on alcoholic beverages, heated tobacco products and vapor products will still be closer to its version, which is seen to yield more than P30 billion in revenue.

    Carlos Dominguez, DOF secretary, on Tuesday was asked to comment on the passage on third and final reading of Senate Bill 1074, or the Senate’s version of the proposed sin tax increase.

    “I haven’t seen the numbers… the original proposal for the alcohol and e-cigarettes by the DOF was to raise P36.5 billion next year, and increase it over time,” Dominguez said in a press briefing held on the sidelines of the Sulong Pilipinas Agribusiness Summit at the SMX Convention Center in Lanang district.

    “I don’t know what the final version was, but I’ll certainly take a look at it. I hope it’s closer to that (DOF version) than to the House version which was only (seen to yield) P18 billion,” he added.

    With the passage of the Senate version, Dominguez is hoping the sin tax measure will soon be passed into law and implemented starting Jan. 1, 2020.

    “That’s really the idea. I had meetings with the Senate and told them that it’s much better for businesses, especially our tax year follows the calendar year, it’s better to start it on January 1,” Dominguez said.

    “It’s very difficult to do the taxes sometime after January 1, so it’s better to do it and I’m very glad that we’re moving quickly ahead on that,” he added.

    He said the government is pushing for the immediate passage of these measures to support the needs of sectors that require funding.

    “We’re pushing very hard for the taxes on alcohol, taxes on e-cigarettes, to be passed, so that we can have enough funds to invest in the agriculture sector, also in the health sector,” Dominguez said.

    “These funds are being properly deployed, and we are totally accountable to the Filipino people for their use, for their productive use, and their use without any corruption,” he added.