MANILA, Philippines—A lawmaker on Monday said he was confident that the 15th Congress will be able to pass the sin tax reform bill by December.
Davao City Representative Isidro Ungab, chairman of the House committee on ways and means, said he “will be amenable to whatever is the best measure that Congress can pass that will truly address the health concerns of the youth, the women and the poor sectors of our society.”
“The Senate can pass the sin tax bill by the end of the year,” he said.
“The senators are well aware that we have a deadline to meet in March 2013, the date the World Trade Organization set for us to act in its ruling, which requires the Philippine government to make corrective measures as to the excise taxes on distilled spirits which the WTO ruled as discriminatory against imported products,” added the lawmaker.
He said that he was preparing for the bicameral conference meeting which would follow once the Senate passes its version of the proposed measure within the week.
“Excise tax in cigarettes can be a good measure to control smoking and excessive drinking,” Ungab said.
He added he felt that Senator Franklin Drilon’s proposal for P45-billion additional excise tax revenue collection on the sin tax bill’s first year of implementation was “workable.”
He said this was higher than the House version’s target of P31.3 billion.