Sin Tax Bill Commented on Aquino SONA 2012
By Joann Santiago
President Benigno Aquino III hopes for the passage of the proposed Sin Tax bill this year.
“Maipasa na sana ito. Mababawasan na ang bisyo at madadagdagan pa ang pondo para sa kalusugan. (I hope this will be passed. It will lessen vices and increase health budget),” he said.
The Lower House approved on third and final reading, by a 210-21 vote and five abstentions, House Bill 5727, authored by Cavite Rep. Joseph Emilio Abaya on June 7, 2012.
The House-approved sin tax amendment aims to increase tax of low-priced tobacco brands by about 700 percent in a two-year period.
The measure, which was earlier certified by Aquino as urgent, is expected to provide the government at least P33 billion in additional revenues.
Among the focus of the sin tax amendment is ensuring a playing level field for manufacturers.
This will reduce the current four-tiered system for tobacco products to two and the removal of the current freeze of cigarette prices based on the 1996 prices.
Another feature is pegging the price increase on inflation.
In 2011, sin tax revenues amounted to P25 billion while government expenses for alcohol and tobacco-related diseases amounted to P177 billion.
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