Staggered tobacco tax hike gives farmers room for 'transition' to other crops: solon

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 27 2019 07:01 PM

People smoke their cigarettes in Quezon City. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA – The proposed sin tax on tobacco would be implemented in tranches to give farmers room to make the transition to other crops such as corn, onion or garlic, among others, a lawmaker said Monday. 

The Senate is pushing for a measure that would raise tobacco excise taxes to P45 in 2020, followed by a P5 increase until the rate reaches P60 by 2023.

In his sponsorship speech, Sen. Sonny Angara recognized that the additional taxes have been imposed on tobacco since 2012.

"Dahil dito, patuloy ding bumaba ang produksyon ng ating tobacco farmers,” Angara, who chairs the Committee on Ways and Means said.

(Because of this, production of tobacco also declined)

“Alam po natin na ganito ang magiging kahinatnan ng pagpataw ng dagdag buwis sa tobacco (We knew this would happen with additional tax on tobacco)… more time is needed for our tobacco farmers to make the transition,” he added. 

Under the current scheme, the “needed budgetary support” for the Universal Healthcare Law” would be met, the reelected Senator said. 

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez earlier appealed to lawmakers to pass the measure before the 17th Congress adjourns on June 6. Senate President Tito Sotto said last week that the chamber would exert its "best effort" to pass the measure. 

- with a report from Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News