DOH, DOF welcome additional tax on vape, e-cigarettes
MANILA, Philippines – The health and finance departments on Wednesday welcomed the proposed imposition of additional taxes on vapes and e-cigarettes.
Senator Ralph Recto made the proposal during the Senate interpellation of a bill seeking to increase excise tax on tobacco products.
“Hindi pa 100 percent na napapatunayan na itong mga vape at e-cigarettes ay isang cessation mechanism to stop smoking. Pero we support ‘yung taxation ng e-cigarette just like what Sen. Recto said yesterday. We support that,” Department of Health (DOH) Assistant Secretary Charade Mercado-Grande said at the Kapihan sa Manila Bay Forum in Malate, Manila.
Mercado-Grande said only a 12 percent value-added tax (VAT) is imposed on e-cigarettes, while cigarettes and other tobacco products that are slapped with an additional excise tax.
Excise tax is any duty on manufactured goods which is levied at the moment of manufacture, rather than at sale.
Meanwhile, the Department of Finance (DOF) said it is just waiting for a “convincing” study that will explain the real health risks of e-cigarettes.
“We want to see convincing studies. Then we will determine what is the appropriate (tax) rate. Kasi some studies say this is as harmful (as cigarettes), some study says this is less (harmful). Depending on the risk then we will determine the rate,” DOF Undersecretary Karl Chua said in the same forum.
“We will take the cue from DOH, WHO (World Health Organization) and the health experts,” he added.
The DOF and DOH are strongly lobbying for the Senate to pass its version of a bill that will further raise taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products.
The House of Representatives has already passed its version of the bill last December
The revenue from this measure will be used to address the funding gaps in the implementation of the Universal Healthcare Law. (Editor: Gilbert S. Gaviola)
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