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Senate OKs lower cigarette tax by 2017

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Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said the Senate version of the sin tax bill would preserve the “old system of classification” of cigarettes to low, middle, and high-class varieties that would be taxed different amounts from 2013 to 2016. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Tobacco companies gained a minor victory Tuesday night after senators agreed to lower the unitary tax on cigarettes from P32 to P26 per pack by 2017, the fifth year of implementation of the proposed higher taxes on sin products.

The amendment was made just before the Senate, on a vote of 15-2,  approved on second and third reading the so-called sin tax bill certified as urgent by Malacañang. Sen. Francis Escudero and Sen. Joker Arroyo voted no.

‘Distorted model’

The change was accommodated after Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., both from the tobacco-producing North, objected to what Enrile called a “distorted and disproportionate model” of tax increases proposed by the Department of Finance from 2013 to 2017.

Enrile said the Senate version of the sin tax bill would preserve the “old system of classification” of cigarettes to low, middle, and high-class varieties that would be taxed different amounts from 2013 to 2016.

Only at the start of 2017 would all classifications impose a unitary tax of P26 per pack as agreed Tuesday night, Enrile said.

While a clear explanation was not given for the reduction in unitary tax, observers noted that it was announced after the Senate suspended discussions on the sin tax bill after Enrile accused the bill’s sponsors of presenting a “distorted and disproportionate model” that would force tobacco companies to pay more taxes than their counterparts in the alcohol industry.

Higher burden

Enrile had complained that based on assumptions made by the DOF, the tobacco industry could end up shouldering as much as 69 percent of the tax burden meant to be shared with alcohol products.

Enrile, waving what looked like a copy of the DOF report, said that while this ratio might be applicable in 2013, the DOF model also showed that the tobacco industry would shoulder a higher burden of 68 percent in 2014, 69 percent in 2015, 67 percent in 2016, and 66 percent in 2017.

He noted that in 2011, the tobacco industry’s share of sin taxes was only 57 percent.

“There is a definite bias (in) this proposal in favor of alcohol against tobacco farmers of the North.  This is against tobacco. Why?” he asked with some irritation.

Marcos supported Enrile’s observation. Marcos earlier  took the floor and noted the distortions in burden sharing.

Still committed

“I think the (senators) who do not believe in this distribution deserve an explanation from the secretary of finance,” Enrile said.

On Monday night, Sen. Franklin Drilon, the acting chairman of the ways and means committee, announced that the senators had agreed during a caucus to a 60-40 burden sharing between the tobacco and alcohol industries on the P40-billion incremental tax to be imposed on sin products.

Enrile said the Senate was still committed to its promise to Malacañang to approve the sin tax bill.

More time

“There might be a misunderstanding. I want to put it on record so we would not be blamed that we are derailing the sin tax. But we (have to) push it according to the agreement,” he said.

Drilon asked that he and his  staff be allowed to “recompute” the burden-sharing ratio starting 2014.

“We wish to have a little more time… We are requesting that we suspend consideration of this measure and take it up again tomorrow,” he said.

Early during Tuesday’s discussion, Sen. Joker Arroyo complained that the bill did not specify the appropriations that would be given to healthcare.

The sin tax bill proponents had said that the additional revenue from the sin taxes would be used to fund healthcare needs, particularly  the repair of government hospitals and  paying the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) premiums of poor Filipinos.


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Tags: cigarettes , Government , Legislation , Public Health , Senate , sin tax bill , Smoking


  • http://profile.yahoo.com/XLAYGSIXK2ZYTYWAONHLW6ZKW4 Frank

    Very obvious some senators still want to appease Lucio Tan by lowering the sin taxes by 2017! Shame on you!

    • txtman

      REALLY?

      APPEASED LUCIO TAN?

      ALL LUCIO TAN WILL HAVE TO DO IS TO PASS THE TAX TO THE CONSUMERS

      SINO NGAYON ANG TATAMAAN?

      PEOPLE WILL NEVER STOP SMOKING

      THE BEST SOLUTION FOR SMOKING

      ACCORDING TO THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT IS

      EDUCATION

      ANO DAW ULIT ANG SOLUTION DYAN?

      EDUCATION DAW

      KASI THE MORE EDUCATED YOU ARE

      THE LESS INCIDENCE OF SMOKING

      PERA LANG ANG HABOL DYAN INENG AT THE EXPENSE OF THE POOR

      PITIFUL

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RB4MRMIIKXF4VI3UGY6MVUKC7Y Kobe

        Education? Yung Dean namin dito sa school may PhD na yan chain smoker pa rin!

      • marionics

        he he sige ka patulan mo si pitiful hahaha

      • txtman

        WHAT A WASTE OF SPACE & TIME

        PITIFUL

      • marionics

        don’t tell me
        let me guess
        pitiful diba? hahaha

      • txtman

        ANO BA SINABI KO?

        ACCORDING TO THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT

        THE BEST SOLUTION TO STOP SMOKING IS BY EDUCATION

        THE MORE EDUCATED THE POPULATION

        THE LESS INCIDENCE OF SMOKING

        SINABI BA NA ZERO?

        NOPE!

        GALING BA SA AKIN ANG MGA REPORTS NA YAN?

        NOPE

        GALING PO SA UNITED STATES OF AMERICAN GOVERNMENT

        YOU WANT TO DISPUTE THAT?

        GO, AHEAD

        IT IS YOUR RIGHT!

        NOW, BEFORE GAMITIN ANG MALAKING BUNGANGA

        USE YOUR BRAIN FIRST

        AND MAKE SURE

        YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU’RE READING

        THE BEST IS

        YOU SHOULD HAVE CHECK THE FACTS

        PITIFUL

      • vinzerx

        Also pitiful? Your communication skills and tactlessness.

      • txtman

        WHAT IS TACTLESS IN TELLING THE TRUTH?

        IM JUST BEING FRANK

        KUNG ANO ANG TOTOO YAN ANG SASABIHIN KO

        MY COMMUNICATION SKILLS?

        BAKIT, MERON KA BANG SINABING SENSE?

        WALA

        YAN ANG PITIFULLY POOR COMMUNICATION SKILLS & TACTLESS

        PITIFUL

  • kalikasanipagtanggol

    Lobbyists are hiding behind the robes!

  • txtman

    >>>>>>>>>>> THE PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTION 1986 <<<<<<<<<<<<<<

    ARTICLE II. DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES & STATE POLICIES

    SECTION 12.

     ……. IT SHALL EQUALLY PROTECT THE LIFE OF THE MOTHER AND THE LIFE  OF THE UNBORN FROM CONCEPTION.

    THEREFORE, THE PROPOSED RH BILL OF PIA CAYETANO PROMOTING PILLS IS

    UNCONSTITUTIONAL

    PITIFUL

    • vinzerx

      Why not criminalize masturbation then? From your distorted world view, every sperm is already an unborn child.

      Not to mention that your comment is woefully out of place. But yeah, a lot of Filipinos have woefully limited reading comprehension, and yours is a prime example.

      Pitiful.

      • txtman

        DISTORTED VIEWS?

        SINABI KO BA NA KASAMA ANG SPERM?

        READ MY COMMENTS IN THE ARTICLE
        “WIN SOME, LOSS SOME IN RH BILL”

        TO ENLIGHTENED YOUR PITIFUL BRAIN

        TAMA KA  NGA

        A LOT OF THE FILIPINOS HAVE WOEFULLY LIMITED READING COMPREHENSION.

        AND THAT IS YOU

        AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

        BEFORE YOU MAKE ANY COMMENTS

        YOU NEED TO READ THE DEFINTION OF
        1. CONCEPTION
        2. MODE OF ACTIONS OF PILLS & IUD

        ABA EH, SA TOTOO LANG

        DAPAT KASUHAN NG GOVERNMENT MGA PILLS & IUD COMPANIES

        ADVICE KO LANG SA MGA COMPANIES NA MGA YAN

        TUMAHIMIK NA SILA

        KASI NGA

        BASED THE CONSTITUTION

        THEY ARE DOING CRIMINAL ACTS

        WHICH UNFORTUNATELY

        THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT IS NOT DOING ITS JOB

        PITIFUL

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_M6UL2UG4OGTMCLSYGB5MVJ7USE InSearchOfTruth

        well, as a citizen, you can file a case against them in any court of law.  since you have the constitution on your side, the court can only agree with you.  and i’m sure, even global human rights groups will support you in your gallant and noble endeavor.

        pero off-topic nga ang post mo kasi ang news article eh about sin tax bill, at hindi rh bill…  unless i have limited reading comprehension…

  • Datukalun

    Taxes taxes taxes for politics pockets.Instead of taxing the people why dont you just tax this senators Congressman Mayors governors who are drinking expensive wines having lot of mistresses big homes villas land money or just cut their privileges imagine when they die they had to be put into an expensive caskets made of bronze metal payed by the people they had money more than enough to buy even 20 caskets for them, still to be shouldered by us.Even their meryenda in senate and in congress still paid by us their cars.

  • blainz

    So that’s how they got the Enrile, Marcos, Recto votes. A last minute amendment favoring the tobacco companies. This reminds me of a famous quote:

    “To retain respect for laws and sausages, one must not watch them in the making.”- Otto von Bismarck

    The “distortion” of the sin-tax balance should at least reflect the ratio of health expenditures incurred between alcohol and tobacco. Merely stating 50-50 is the fair division has no basis but a nebulous mathematical intuition, and I don’t trust lawyer math.

    I wonder what sausage compromise will befall the RH Bill.   Pardon the pun.

    • Guest

      Because Sen. Chiz Escudero voted NO for the passage of sin tax measure, most likely he will emerge as No. 1 senator in 2013 elections

  • Ommm

    Help me get this straight…. the government is raising sin taxes to discourage “youth” from smoking…BUT…in 2017 they will lower the tax to encourage more kids to smoke??

    Maybe they reason in 5 years they will have the health care improved enough and will have a shortage of patients for those facilities?….or perhaps they don’t “reason” at all and this tax grab is merely to cover their basic incompetence to run an economy…. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/RL37HV32DKYDK7ACEKAKYDY634 Torero

    takte naman enrile. tingin mo tanga mga taumbayan. paano nangyari na itataas nga ang buwis sa sigarilyo via the sin tax bill tapos sa year2017 ibababa naman.  aalis ka na lang ng pulitika, nagkakalat ka pa sa pagiging kurap mo.

    • Guest

      Kahit kaalyado si Chiz Escudero ng Palasyo, di siya nagpadikta sa mga economic
      managers ng gobyerno. Nangibabaw pa rin ang malasakit sa maapektuhan ng mataas
      na buwis sa sin products

  • riganom

    How lucky the Chinese in the Philippines.  What they want, they get.  

    They wanted to take over control of our rice industry, our farmers who have been breaking their backs to provide us rice have lost earnings to the chinese who control all economic inputs as well as the market distribution.  They wanted to remove tax evasion as a crime in the Philippines, Filipino lawmakers removed them.  They wanted to cut trees in Quezon, and now in Baguio, our government provided them with the legal requirements.  Filipinos tried to stop them to save the endangered environment, but since the Chinese moves have become legal, Philippine government and policemen blocked Filipino moves.  They wanted to earn as much as they can poison us with their cigarettes.  They compelled our lawmakers to remove all legal measures to stop their poisoning us by their cigarettes.  Our Filipino lawmakers adjusted our laws to comply with the requirements of these Chinese.

    It is we the Filipinos who should own the Philippines, not the Chinese!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AIPSCQM2TZQUMQ5GEIMWMWDFL4 Edward Solilap

    Kailangan ng governo ang maraming tax sa lahat ng bagay kunyari lang itong Sin Tax Bill e kung nakakasama sa health ng tao ang alak at sigarilyo bakit hindi gumawa ng batas na itigil nalang ang production ng mga ito. Ang mga mayayaman lang ang makabili ng sigarilyo at ibubuga nya sa mahihirap ang lason na usok at ang malaking tax nito e gagastusin ng DOH para ipagamot ang mga kawawang biktima ok ba sa governo ito mukhang malabo na batas ito nagresign tuloy si Senator R. Recto.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_M6UL2UG4OGTMCLSYGB5MVJ7USE InSearchOfTruth

      ipokrito kasi karamihan sa atin eh.  marami nagsasabing bae sa research eh masama ang tobacco sa kalusugan pero walang sumisigaw ng ipagbawal ang tobacco.  meron lang tayong mga no-smoking places at eto ngang sin tax bill.  pero, ni isa man lang sa nagsasabing masama ang tobacco sa kalusugan walang sumisigaw na i-ban ang tobacco.  bakit kaya?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RB4MRMIIKXF4VI3UGY6MVUKC7Y Kobe

    Gawing P200 per pack ang cigarettes ok lang yan!!!!

    • Facilitator1

      Kabayan, dagdagan mo pa–kung pwedi lang 2,000 per pack…yung may pambili ng YOSI bibili pa rin para ma-satisfy nila ang kanilang cravings. Yung walang pambili, in the long run, mas OK sa kanilang kalusugan at yung konting naipon pwede yang pambili ng pagkain…Hindi mo man tinatanong, maraming nagkakasakit rito sa barangay namin sa BAGA o parating INUUBO na parang nawawalan o hirap huminga. At parang na-peste ang aming lugar kasi marami ang may alta presyon, na-stroke, may diabetis, atbp. Hindi ko alam ang dahilan kung bakit, pero ang COMMON DENOMINATOR nila ay ALL are SMOKERS. Minsan nga dahil sa AWA mo sa kapitbahay, bibigyan mo pa ng pambili ng gamot. Pero pag gumaling o umayos ng konti ang pakiramdam, balik na naman sa sigarilyo at nakalimutan ang pangako nya na hindi na sya magyoyosi…ay, loleng…
      Yung sabi nila na kunwari ang kikitain pera ay sa TAO mapupunta at hindi sa kaban ng bayan…NO SAY ako roon. IWAS muna ako sa POLITICS ng SIN TAX. Ang importante ang kalusugan ni Juan dela Cruz at ako na rin dahil sa SECOND HAND SMOKE (minsan mahirap iwasan dahil nasa PUBLIC areas ka (i.e. sasakyan, palengke, etc.)… PEACE…

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_M6UL2UG4OGTMCLSYGB5MVJ7USE InSearchOfTruth

        mas maganda yata i-ban na lang ang tobacco kesa patawan pa n buwis.  tutal naman masama ito sa kalusugan, bakit hindi na lang i-classify kagaya ng droga?  gawin illegal?  wala naman medicinal value ang tobacco di ba?  mabuti pa cannabis meron…

  • Facilitator1

    Kabayan, dagdagan mo pa–kung pwedi lang 2,000 per pack…yung may pambili ng YOSI bibili pa rin para ma-satisfy nila ang kanilang cravings. Yung walang pambili, in the long run, mas OK sa kanilang kalusugan at yung konting naipon pwede yang pambili ng pagkain…
    Hindi mo man tinatanong, maraming nagkakasakit rito sa barangay namin sa BAGA o parating INUUBO na parang nawawalan o hirap huminga. At parang na-peste ang aming lugar kasi marami ang may alta presyon, na-stroke, may diabetis, atbp. Hindi ko alam ang dahilan kung bakit, pero ang COMMON DENOMINATOR nila ay ALL are SMOKERS. Minsan nga dahil sa AWA mo sa kapitbahay, bibigyan mo pa ng pambili ng gamot. Pero pag gumaling o umayos ng konti ang pakiramdam, balik na naman sa sigarilyo at nakalimutan ang pangako nya na hindi na sya magyoyosi…ay, loleng…

    Yung sabi nila na kunwari ang kikitain pera ay sa TAO mapupunta at hindi sa kaban ng bayan…NO SAY ako roon. IWAS muna ako sa POLITICS ng SIN TAX. Ang importante ang kalusugan ni Juan dela Cruz at ako na rin dahil sa SECOND HAND SMOKE (minsan mahirap iwasan dahil nasa PUBLIC areas ka (i.e. sasakyan, palengke, etc.)… PEACE…

  • disqusted0fu

    this just shows that these lawmakers can pass bills into laws quick with an urgency certification from the president. but why just selected laws? particularly money generating laws. what about the FOI bill which will enforce true transparent and good governance… this is probably more important than taxing sin products. we need transparency from our government now more than ever.

  • marionics

    bakit yung ibang dyaryo e iba headlines?-

    Senators OK higher tobacco, alcohol taxes

  • Guest

    Sin tax bill passed in the Senate. That’s expected. The government wanted it, so be it.

  • vinzerx

    Hello Big Corporation. I feel sad that even the most sincere of government policies that would benefit the population is easily railroaded by big money. Why bother having a sin tax if it will go down later on, anyway?

  • Wesley_james

    Victorious sina Purisima, Abad, Ona, Henares and Drilon. They awaits large bonus from their
    sponsors. Congratulations!

  • Guest

    Well Sen. Chiz Escudero understands the welfare of tobacco farmers and growers, the vendors, the sari-sari store owners kaya bumoto siya ng NO sa sin tax bill.

  • Rabbitspirit

    I think only Escudero and Arroyo ang tumanggap ng suhol for the passage of sin tax bill, the rest
    tumanggap yan. Sigurado yon!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_M6UL2UG4OGTMCLSYGB5MVJ7USE InSearchOfTruth

    hindi naman natin kailangan ng bagong buwis.  ibalik lang natin ang death penalty, particularly sa mga grafters at kumpiskahin ng estado ang lahat ng ari-arian ng mga mapapatunayang nagkasala ng graft.

    kapag ganyan ginawa natin, manong johnny, tingin ko naman marami ang magiging “happy” :-D

  • BLITZKRIEG166

    higher taxes on sin products – pwede ba higher taxes din on sin politicians  hehehe



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