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Senate plenary to tackle sin tax bill

THE Senate Ways and Means committee headed by Sen. Pilar Juliana “Pia” Cayetano has reported out for plenary deliberations Senate Bill (SB) 1074, which seeks to increase excise taxes on “sin” products to augment funds for healthcare.

SEN. Pilar Juliana “Pia” Cayetano

In her sponsorship speech, Cayetano stressed the need to impose “significantly higher” tax rates on alcohol, electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and heated tobacco products (HTPs) to safeguard Filipinos’ health and well-being.

For distilled spirits, Cayetano’s committee proposed an ad valorem tax of 20 percent and a specific tax of P90 per proof liter, to be increased by P10 every year.

For fermented liquor and “alcopops,” a specific tax rate of P45 per liter for the first year of implementation was proposed, to be increased by P10 every year.

A specific tax of P600 per liter was proposed for sparkling wines and P43 per liter for still and carbonated wines.

The panel also proposed to tax e-cigarettes, HTPs and vape products the same rate as conventional tobacco products.

“For the sake of our children, we must regulate and tax e-cigarettes at parity with regular tobacco product. Other countries are already doing this. We should at least keep pace. Vaping is not cool when it leads our kids to the path of new addictions,” Cayetano said.

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