House commits to adopt Senate tobacco tax hike bill — Sotto
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives has already committed to adopt the Senate version of a measure that seeks to raise the excise tax on tobacco products, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Monday.
“Yes, that’s why we’re all the more careful about the proposed amendments,” Sotto told reporters in an interview when asked if the House has already given its commitment to adopt the Senate version of the measure.
The Senate is set to “thresh out” all the proposed amendments on Senate Bill No. 2233 on Monday, Sotto said. The measure proposes to increase tax on cigarettes to P45 per pack in 2020, P50 in 2021, P55 in 2022 and P60 in 2023, with five percent annual increases thereafter.
The Senate President also said that for the bill to be passed and enacted into law in the 17th Congress, the House will have to adopt the Senate bill. This will enable the Congress to forego the need for a bicameral conference committee and to expedite its approval.
“Hopefully at the end of the day, we’ll be able to reach a consensus on how to go about it,” he said.
“We have to be very careful with the Senate version and try to incorporate already all the ideas not only from us but also from the House of Representatives so the period of amendments later will be very important,” Sotto added.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.