House panel OKs P20 per kilo tax on single-use plastic bags
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives’ Ways and Means committee approved Tuesday a bill imposing a P20 excise tax on every kilo of single-use plastic bags removed from the place of production or the Customs warehouse.
Committee chairman and Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda said House Bill No. 781, once signed into law, would generate a revenue of P4.8 billion on the first year of implementation.
The proposed law also has a minimal impact of P0.07 on sando plastic bags, said Salceda.
Salceda said they decided to tax single-use plastic carriers first because taxing other types of plastics, especially sachets, may trigger an increase in the price of food and basic commodities like shampoo and toothpaste.
“It’s just the first step. The next step is a tax on primary plastic packaging especially sachet since it accounts for 2/3 of solid waste and garbage,” Salceda said.
“However if poverty goes single digit, we will include it possibly in 3-4 years,” he added.
The committee also agreed to earmark 100 percent of the collections from the measure to the solid waste management fund provided under Section 46 of Republic Act No. 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.
A copy of the updated bill authored by Nueva Ecija 1st District Rep. Estrellita Suansing and Sultan Kudarat 2nd District Rep. Horacio Suansing Jr. has yet to be released.
Both chambers of Congress would have to approve the proposed law before it can be forwarded to President Rodrigo Duterte for his consideration.
At least 15 bills regulating or banning products made of single-use plastics have been pending before the House Committee on Ecology, while similar proposals are also being tackled in the Senate.
Duterte recently expressed willingness to support such initiatives.
A 2015 report ranked the Philippines as the third leading source of plastic materials polluting oceans, while more than 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic have been produced since the early 1950s, Rep. Estrellita had said.
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