Senate won’t rush ‘sin’ tax amendment – Angara

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EFFORTS by the House of Representatives to “rush” the passage of a measure that seeks to amend Republic Act 10351 or the “Sin Tax Reform Act” this week may be in vain, as deliberations in the Senate will start next year.

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Senator Juan Edgardo Angara, chairman of the Senate ways and means committee, said the chamber was unlikely to take up the proposal that seeks a two-tier tax rate system before the year ends, because it was still awaiting the passage of the bill in the House.

Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara

Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara

At the moment, there is no counterpart measure on the sin tax law amendment filed by any senator, Angara said.

The House of Representatives last week passed on second reading House Bill (HB) 4144 that proposes a P32 tax per pack of cigarettes priced at P11.50 and below, and P36 per pack for cigarettes with a net retail price of above P11.50.

The passage came just two days after the House committee on ways and means unanimously approved the measure after two public hearings.

HB 4144 is expected to be approved on third and final reading this week before Congress adjourns for its Christmas break on December 16.

But the supposed railroading of the passage of the sin tax amendment could be futile, because the Senate won’t have time to tackle it, Angara said. There are only three session days left.

“I want to study the measure further and listen to resource persons first,” the senator said.

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