The Duterte administration should pass the two-tier increased excise taxes on cigarettes instead of imposing new taxes on fuel products and low-end automobiles, a House leader said on Thursday.
Rep. Eugene de Vera of ABS party-list, the House deputy minority leader, was referring to his House Bill 4144 wherein the tax rate for cigarettes priced below P11.50 per pack would be pegged at P32 per pack while those priced over P11.50 per pack will be slapped a P36 tax rate per pack.
These amounts are higher than the scheduled P30 unitary tax rate per pack under the existing sin tax law passed in 2012.
“Why would you increase excise taxes on gasoline and other kerosene products and withdraw the discounts for senior citizens and persons with disabilities instead of increasing sin taxes?” de Vera said, referring to the other provisions of a pending proposal of the Finance department on tax reform.
“That is why I am thankful of my colleagues that they saw the wisdom of my proposal. 176 voted for it [on third reading approval],” he added.