• Lawmakers urged to explore how to tax other ‘sin’ products

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    A seasoned lawmaker is urging members of the House of Representatives to explore how to increase the levy on other “sin” products like liquor after the recent approval of House Bill No. 4144 that increased the excise tax on cigarettes.

    In a statement, Rep. Reynaldo Umali of the Second District of Oriental Mindoro lauded colleague Rep. Jericho Nograles’ proposal to further increase the value-added tax (VAT) on alcohol instead of imposing higher excise taxes on diesel and other fuel products.

    Lawmakers are doing their best to address foregone government revenues in line with the current administration’s bid to lower the personal income tax (PIT) and ease the overburdened working class, Umali said.

    The best way is to tax vices, he said, noting that approving House Bill No. 4144 is a step in the right direction.

    The bill seeks to amend Section 145 (c) of Republic Act No. 10351 by imposing a two-tier tax system that further increases the levy on tobacco products than in the original version of the law.

    The measure proposes a two-tier system that levies a P32.00 tax per pack on tobacco products priced lower than P11.50, and a higher P36.00 tax per pack for products exceeding P11.50.

    “Increasing taxes on necessities like petroleum will have massive inflationary effects that will negate the administration’s social reform agenda of easing the ordinary Filipino’s financial burdens,” said Umali, himself a lawyer and an economist.

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