‘Tobacco manufacturers will support sin tax hike if gov’t can curb smuggling’

A store employee arranges packs of cigarettes inside a convenience store in Manila. AP

MANILA – Senate President Vicente Sotto III said interpellations on the new sin tax hikes may begin this week as the Senate Committee Report came out Monday.

Sotto believes the Senate version of the sin tax hikes would be better for the government, compared with the House version, which proposes a lower tax increase.

Sotto also said higher sin taxes will help fund the Philippine universal healthcare.

“For example, we’re going to raise it from P35 to P45, but in the next four years, succession of P5 per year so that would be P45 by January 1, 2020 and then another P5 for the next 4 years,” he said.

Sotto also said they have talked to all stakeholders, including manufacturers, to ensure that they will support higher taxes on tobacco products.

“I think as long as the government assures the manufacturers that they would be given enough support, and protection from the illegal smuggling and the illegal manufacturers, then I think the government will be able to garner enough revenue wherein the tobacco stakeholders will not be affected that much,” he said. (ABS-CBN News)


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