MANILA – An official from the Department of Finance (DOF) on Tuesday expressed confidence that the proposed measure on increasing the current excise tax of tobacco products will be passed on time.
“We have a very good chance at passing the measure. Kung ‘yung timeline ay masunod dahil po ngayon nga po ay naintroduce na po siya sa floor… Kumpleto naman po ‘yung mga boto natin sa tingin ko kung masunod ‘yung timeline,” assistant secretary Tony Lambino said in a forum.
Lambino is hoping that the senators’ interpellation on the said measure will be finished today because the sin tax bill faces a crucial week as there are only few days left before the 17th Congress adjourns session.
“Kailangan po matapos ‘yung interpellation sana by today at sana po makaboto na po as soon as possible,” Lambino said.
Lambino said the DOF is ready to help and provide senators with information in passing the bill.
“We are guided by the senators. We are here to support them. Kung ano po ‘yung kailangan nilang datos at analysis, nandito po kami 24/7 para sa mga kailangan po nilang considerations,” Lambino said.
The DOF and the Department of Health are pushing for the passage of Senate Bill No. 1599 to increase the current uniform excise tax rate on cigarettes and other tobacco products from P35 to P45 per pack in the first year of its implementation and an additional 9% per year thereafter.
Aside from tobacco products, the two agencies are also asking Congress to increase excise taxes on alcohol to at least P40 per liter and impose a unitary tax system on fermented liquors.
The government said higher excise taxes on tobacco and alcohol products may be used to generate funds for the Universal Health Care law. (GMA News)