Senate panel draft seeks P45 to P60 tax on tobacco
MANILA, Philippines — A draft committee report of a bill, which will further increase excise tax on tobacco products to between P45 and P60 per pack starting next year, is being routed for signature in the Senate.
The draft report was prepared by the Senate committee on ways and means chaired by Senator Sonny Angara.
Under the bill approved by the committee, the tax on tobacco products would be raised by P10 per pack in 2020 – from the current P35 per pack to P45.
In 2021, the tax rate would be raised further to P50 per pack and then to P55 per pack in 2022, and to P60 per pack in 2023.
According to the draft, tax rates would still be increased by 5 percent every year starting January 1, 2024.
Angara, in a text message Wednesday, confirmed that the tobacco tax would be raised gradually every year.
“Yes it’s to be increased to P45 and progressively increasing every year 45-50-55-60,” he said.
According to sources, five senators including Angara have so far signed the draft report. The others were Senators JV Ejericto, Sherwin Gatchalian, Panfilo Lacson, and Risa Hontiveros.
Ejercito, Gatchalian, and Lacson, in separate text messages, confirmed signing the draft report.
“I signed the committee report but I will interpellate,” Lacson said.
The draft has yet to get the majority signatures of 18 members of the committee, including its three ex-officio members, before it can be transmitted to the Senate floor.
Angara said the Senate leadership, during a caucus attended by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III earlier Wednesday, promised to do its best to ensure the passage of the measure before the 17th Congress adjourns sine die on June 7.
Last December, the House of Representatives approved its own version of the proposed measure.
Under the House version, the tax rate on tobacco products would be raised to P37.50 per pack starting July this year, and an additional P2.50 in the next three years or until 2022. (Editor: Katherine G. Adraneda)
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