Senators oppose proposed tax on beauty products
Senators Sherwin Gatchalian and Risa Hontiveros on Friday expressed opposition to one lawmaker’s proposal to tax cosmetics, noting its discriminatory impact on women, the main consumers of these products.
In a statement, Gatchalian said taxing beauty products and cosmetics services would be unfair to women and would not serve as an effective alternative to the fuel excise tax.
The tax measures are being contemplated to boost the state’s revenues as the government endeavors to bring down personal income tax rates.
Gatchalian said vanity tax, a measure proposed by Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe, is “a discriminatory policy, which would have a disproportionately adverse effect on women, the primary consumers of cosmetics.”
He said such tax would also have “a more serious negative impact on rank-and-file” women in the work force, whose use of cosmetics is a necessity.
“It’s the department store sales ladies, hotel receptionists, and other women professionals I’m worried about,” Gatchalian said.
Hontiveros, for her part, said she was OK with imposing additional taxes on cosmetic surgical procedure but is against taxing everyday beauty products.
“[No] to additional taxes on ordinary cosmetic products like lipsticks and moisturizers, which are important to health. All women, especially ordinary women, will only be burdened by this,” she said when reached for comment on Friday.
Meanwhile, the Department of Finance (DOF) said it would do an initial study if a “vanity tax” would be feasible, an official said on Friday.
But Finance Undersecretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua clarified that such tax on beauty products and services was not included in any of the tax reform packages being pitched by the DOF to Congress.
“It is not in our package of reforms. We will need to study it first before considering, before we can have a position,” Chua told the Inquirer.
On Thursday, Chua reiterated the need to hike the taxes slapped on oil, given lower global prices as well as expectations that such low-price environment would continue in the near-term.
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