The government’s “sin” product tax revenue slackened in March, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) reported, as the implementation of graphic health warning on cigarette packs pulled down collections from tobacco products.
March saw a 1.73 percent decrease to P8.09 billion, but pushed the year-to-date tally to P26.62 billion — 22.7 percent higher than the year ago level.
Breaking down March’s take, the BIR said tobacco products accounted for P4.04 billion, 16.1 percent lower from last year.
Following were fermented liquors, up 31 percent to P3.09 billion; and distilled spirits/compounded liquors, down 9.1 percent to P97 million.
The volume of removals for cigarette packs, meanwhile, decreased by 25.8 percent to about 148 million packs.
Fermented liquors saw a 20.3-percent increase to 143 million liters, while distilled spirits contracted by 12.8 percent to 27 million proof liters.
In a statement, BIR said the decrease in volume and amount collected from tobacco products are largely due to the initial implementation of the Graphic Health Warning Law.
“Lower volume of withdrawal maybe due to the fact that the retailers still have a large supply of cigarettes that they have to sell before the law banning the sale of cigarettes without graphic warnings take effect,” said BIR Commissioner Kim Henares.
For the three-month period, excise tax collections from tobacco products amounted to P14.9 billion, 23 percent higher compared with the same period in 2015.
The take from fermented liquor was P8.68 billion, an increase of 30.7 percent.
Collections from distilled spirits/compounded liquors rose by 3.7 percent to P3.04 billion.
For the first three months of 2016, the volume of removals for cigarettes surged to 9.4 percent to 549 million packs.
Fermented liquors posted a 20.1 percent increase to 403 million liters, while distilled spirits contracted by 0.49 percent to 86 million proof liters.