House to propose higher tax rate for e-cigarettes in ‘sin tax’ bill
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives will no longer remove vaping products or e-cigarettes from the bill imposing increased tax rates on liquor and heated tobacco.
This is after President Rodrigo Duterte clarified that the use of e-cigarettes will only be banned in public places as opposed to a total ban of the products.
House Ways and Means Committee chairperson and Albay Rep. Joey Salceda on Thursday the chamber will instead propose a higher tax rate for the said products, contrary to the statement he earlier gave to the media.
“Hindi na. Kagabi upon listening to the president that he only wants public places to be banned from vaping. So it’s no longer a ban, it’s just like another smoking so we’re adjusting,” Salceda told reporters in an interview in New Clark City.
He said that the House will instead propose a higher tax rate for vaping products during the bicameral conference committee (bicam) between the House and the Senate.
“We will retain it [in the bill] pero given the logic of the initial reported ban, we might as well go for a higher rate,” the Albay representative said.
“More likely we will increase it because of the intention to ban. It will be P45 per ml from the current P25 per ml so effectively we are making it more prohibited,” he added.
He said that taxation “is not an instrument for banning” but is aimed at reducing consumption.
Prior to Duterte’s order, the House approved on third and final reading a bill that will gradually increase excise tax rates on liquor and heated tobacco and vapor products.
The President has also certified as urgent the Senate version of the measure, Senate Bill No. 1074.
Once the Senate approves the measure on third reading, both chambers of Congress will convene a bicam to reconcile conflicting provisions of the bill.
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