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Bicam begins deliberations on proposed excise tax hike on alcohol, e-cigs

/ 11:26 AM December 18, 2019

The bicameral conference committee starts discussion on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, on the proposed excise tax hike on alcohol, heated tobacco and vapor products. Photo by Christia Marie Ramos/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines — Lawmakers on Wednesday began discussions on the proposed excise tax hike on alcohol, heated tobacco, and vapor products, expressing optimism that the bicameral conference (bicam) committee report on the measure will be ratified today.

Members of the Senate and the House of Representatives convened in a bicam to reconcile the House and Senate version of a measure that would increase the excise tax hike on alcohol, heated tobacco, and vapor products.

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The excise tax rates in the Senate’s version is higher than that of the House’s proposal.

Senator Pia Cayetano, chair of the Senate contingent to the bicam and the Senate ways and means committee, said “only a few issues” will have to be discussed.

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“We’ve had a number of discussions with the honorable chair of the House panel and we’ve identified fairly only a few issues I think not even enough to count with my hand,” she said in her opening statement.

“So we’re hoping that we can celebrate more than we have these discussions,” she added.

Meanwhile, Albay Rep. Joey Salceda expressed hope that the meeting will produce a “robust output.”

“The House panel is very optimistic that we will have a robust output in this meeting and hope that we can ratify whatever product we have today,” Salceda, Cayetano’s counterpart, said.

The lower chamber passed House Bill No. 1026 last August while the Senate passed its version on Monday.

Following the Senate’s approval of the bill, it will be elevated to the bicameral conference committee for further deliberations and returned to the lower and upper chamber for ratification of the final version.

Once ratified, the final version of the proposal will be sent to the President for signature.

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Edited by MUF
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TAGS: Alcohol, Bicam, bicameral conference committee, Excise Tax, heated tobacco, House, Nation, news, Senate, Sin tax, vape
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