MANILA, Philippines — The bicameral conference committee on the sin tax bill on Thursday resumed its deliberations on the proposed measure and is expected to reconcile its disagreeing provisions.
Senators Panfilo Lacson, siblings Alan Peter and Pia Cayetano, Sergio Osmeña III, Franklin Drilon, Ralph Rector, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. met with Davao City Representative Isidro Ungab, House majority leader Neptali Gonzales II, House minority leader Danilo Suarez, Iloilo Representative Janette Garin, Batanes Representative Henedina Abad, Camarines Sur (4th district) Representative Arnulfo Fuentebella, and Camarines Sur (3rd district) Representative Luis Villafuerte, the House contingent for the bicameral conference committee on the sin tax bill.
Also present during the deliberations were Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares and Finance Undersecretary Jeremias Paul Jr.
Senator Pia Cayetano said that they were expected to take up rates and earmarking during the second meeting.
Suarez said that they would start trying to reconcile the disagreeing provisions of House Bill 5727 and Senate Bill 3299. The panel has earlier agreed to hike tax rates on alcohol and tobacco products every two years.
He said that they would push for their version which sought P31 billion in revenues, which is lower compared to the Senate’s P39 billion. The reason for this was to ensure that the law, once enacted, would not make it too attractive for smugglers.
Paul and Henares faced the bicameral conference committee on the sin tax reform measure at the Andaya Hall of the House of Representatives.