‘Name calling won’t help,’ says RectoBy Tetch Torres
MANILA, Philippines—“Name calling will not help,” Senator Ralph Recto said in an interview Friday over Radyo Inquirer 990AM after Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Kim Henares said those who have worked for the sin tax reform bill felt betrayed by the legislator’s “watered down” version.
The bill proposed by Recto’s ways and means committee envisioned increased revenues reaching P15 billion in new tax rates for tobacco and alcoholic drinks—way below the projected P60 billion targeted by the Departments of Finance and health.
“Pinag-aralan natin ang P15-bilyon na rekomendasyon. Gusto nila mas malaki, may proseso iyan (We’re studying the P15-billion recommendation. They want it higher, there’s a process for that),” Recto said.
He said the proposed amount should not be too high because the cost would simply be passed on by the alcohol and tobacco companies to its consumers.
“The companies are merely collecting agents,” he said.
Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago who authored the sin tax bill also called on the social media to protest Recto’s version.
“Everyone has their right to talk but let us debate this in a civil manner,” Recto said. “Mahaba pa ang talakayan nito. Iwasan natin ang init ng ulo.”