Sin tax bill might be OK’d Monday—Drilon



Senator Franklin Drilon. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Following President Benigno Aquino III’s decision certifying the bill as urgent, sin tax reform bill could finally be approved Monday, according to Senator Franklin Drilon.

“The President certified as urgent the sin tax reform bill for he believes the passage of this very important piece of legislation will buttress government health agenda and address the high prevalence of smoking in the country,” Drilon said in a statement Friday.

He said that they are set to go into the period of individual amendments on Monday after which the senators will vote on the measure that seeks to raise around P40 to P45 billion in additional revenues on tobacco and liquor products.

“I am confident that our colleagues have seen and realized the importance of this reform measure to a great majority both as a health measure and as a finance bill. I am confident that they will vote for its passage when session resumes on Monday,” Drilon said.

The certification from Aquino allows the bill to be approved on second and third reading without the need to comply with the three days interval rule of the Senate. The three days interval rule states that a bill must undergo three separate readings in three days before it is put to a vote.

In Aquino’s certification letter, he said “Pursuant to the provisions of Article VI, Section 26 (2) of the 1987 Constitution, I hereby certify to the necessity of the immediate enactment of Senate Bill 3299 to address the urgent need to restructure the excise taxes on alcohol and tobacco products in order to enhance revenue generating potential of the tax system, and utilize the incremental revenues therefrom to augment the funding for the universal healthcare program of the government.”

Drilon, the acting chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee and also heads the Senate Committee on Finance, had previously stated that he wants the sin tax bill passed before the 2013 budget.

“We are in the final stretch. We are only one step farther before the passage of this bill; but, certainly, without the support of the President, we would not have gone this far,” Drilon said.

The sin tax reform bill is seen to decrease the number of smokers and drinkers in the country by raising the prices of cigarettes and alcoholic drinks. It also aims to increase the budget allotted to the Department of Health for healthcare services through the revenues collected from sin taxes.

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  • RyanE

    Likewise, Malacanang should also certify RH bill and FOI bill as urgent. If CBCP will oppose, the palace can then certify CBCP as nuisance and irrelevant.

    • Maldi2

       What a trash comment!

    • Constantine

      Never mind the opinion of CBCP. They are no longer relevant in shaping up the future of the country!

    • boypalaban

      e yung idol mo na si lagman na tagapagtanggol ng isa mo pang idol na pekeng pangulo na si gloria, di ba nuisance din yon?

    • Guest

      Pabor naman kami sa dagdag buwis pero huwag naman itong 1,000% increase. Sobrang pahirap na ito. Mahirap na nga, lalo pang pinapahirap.

  • Kenneth

    Drilon is crazy by increasing TAX you will kill the industry, if ever there are no smokers where will the revnue come from Sen Recto’s proposal is much more realistic.

    • 1voxPopuli

      ironic, coz the industry you are talking about also kills. 

      so if you are a smoker just take the new tax measures as your insurance when you get sick. coz i dont want my tax payments to foot the bill on you.

    • Constantine

      Are you the chief legal counsel of Sen Recto?

    • Chris

      kill the industry? or burden smokers like you?

  • Constantine

    Go ahead Senator Drilon. Majority of Filipinos are behind you! Never mind the very small minority who are under the take of Lucio Tan. Go go go Senator!

  • Francis81

    Basta may pagkakakitaan ang bilis. Pero ang FOI Bill na pinangako pa ni Pweenoy nung kampanya ay natutulog pa rin sa pansitan!

    • Kolum_Neestah

      May pagka masiba talaga si Drilon dahil sa iginigiit niyang mataas na buwis sa sigarilyo. Sabagay nakikita naman sa mukha ni Drilon ang pagiging masiba.

  • It’s No Time To Doubt Now

    Thanks to our beloved President PNoy for fast-tracking the sin tax bill. By taxing the sinful Filipinos, we will have more money to fund government projects, cash transfers and many more. By taxing the sinful Filipinos, more people will be disincentived to sin. In time, Filipinos will become sinless and this nation will be pure again like the promised land. As a token of solidarity, our dear leader PNoy has decided to continue smoking to share the pain and burden of the smokers. Knowing that our beloved President PNoy is one with us and shares our pain, we can all sleep soundly every night.

    and may I humbly suggest:
    vote straight LP in 2013
    Ninoy 2.0 = Bam Aquino

    • marionics

      dapat yung rh bill din pre he he

      • It’s No Time To Doubt Now

        RH bill?

      • marionics

        you know, dapat ma-certify din as urgent.
        siyanga pala, na-praning yata sa iyo si poltergoose nuon at akala ahente ka ng malaknyang hahaha. praningin mo pa chong he he

      • It’s No Time To Doubt Now

        hahaha. kaso lang, our beloved President PNoy has his reasons for not certifying it as urgent. plus he was busy the last few days and a bit under the weather. mukha naman there’s enough push to force its passage. buti nga kay poltergoose haha! pero I know the disqus logs are archived, problema lang the data storage cost is astronomical, so limited shelf life lang. disqus has its tech support in PH, which opens the possibility of subpoena for access to their data na kinatatakutan ng mga BPO companies when the anti-cybercrime law came out.

  • malek_abdul

    How can you generate P40 to P45 billion revenues from tobacco and liquor if you are going to impose 1000% tax on these products? Such stupid thinking of the “intelligent” senators. Why? Because if you increase the sin tax people who smoke and drink will limit or eventually stop their vices thus lesser revenue from consumers and producers. One thing is good though but not a guarantee, people with these vices will be tremendously reduced for a short time. Smuggled cigarettes and liquors will surely flourish. The government cannot stop smuggling of these goods because of corrupt Bureau of Customs employees and also due to our poorly equipped coast guards that cannot patrol all of our seas and seaports.

    • Fred Mil

      smokers will not just stop their smoking because cigarettes are expensive. they are already addicted. expensive or not, many are still unable to stop in normal circumstances.

      but i agree that the government will have a tough time when smuggling cigarettes will become a lucrative trade when they push the prices too high.

  • riccisan

    my family has been a constant smoker, ako lang nagpigil. why? because its a waste of money. im okay with the bill, problem is, baka wala na pambili ng ulam kasi napunta na sa sigarilyo. there are some pinoys like my family have a twisted way of thinking. another point: kung walang bibili, walang magbebenta and vice versa. lets just hope for the best.

  • knotjob

    Senators will vote for the passage of sin tax measure today. Abangan natin kung sino ang mga senador na pabor sa 1,000% tax hike sa cigarettes.

  • Jon

    Nangangati na daw ang pera ni Senador.
    Magandang senyales at malapit na ang kwarta.

  • My mom

    LEEG natin ang nakasalang sa Sin Tax Reform Bill ni Sen. Drilon. Ibinatay niya ang tax revenues sa 5 percent GDP increases gayong wala pang 2 percent ang totoong paglaki ng cigarette industry taun-taon. Magic ang P40 bilyong projection niya. Nagtatanim si Drilon ng hangin pero tayo ang aani ng bagyo. Babawiin ang kakulangan sa bawat Pilipino, nagyoyosi man o hindi, sa pamamagitan ng Text Tax.

  • Cal_Reznick

    Everything in the government should get a Presidential certification of urgency because everything in the government moves so slow. Let’s see if this new bill actually gets passed or once again hit with more delays.

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