House panel moves for higher cigarette taxes

MANILAThe House of Representatives' ways and means committee on Tuesday approved a measure seeking to increase the excise taxes on tobacco products.

Committee chair, Nueva Ecija Rep. Estrellita Suansing said the proposal seeks to increase excise tax rates for tobacco by PHP2.50 every year, starting July 2019 until 2022.

Suansing said the cigarette excise tax rate will increase to PHP37.50 per pack in July 2019, PHP40 in 2020, PHP42.50 in 2021, and PHP45 in 2022.

Also 4 percent will be imposed every year thereafter, starting 2023, she said.

The Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law mandates that the duty on tobacco products will be raised to PHP35 next year.

Suansing said she expects the bill to be approved on final reading at the lower chamber before the Christmas break on December 14.

The still unnumbered substitute bill is a consolidation of House Bill (HB) No. 4575 authored by Albay Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda and HB 6648 by Quezon Rep. Angelina Tan.

The main authors of the bills said the revenue from excise tax on tobacco, as well as alcohol products, will fund the proposed Universal Health Care Act. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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