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‘Sin’ tax collections hit P269B in 2019

/ 05:18 AM February 01, 2020

Collections from so-called sin products, including sugary drinks, totaled P269.1 billion in 2019 amid higher excise tax rates slapped on their consumption, Department of Finance (DOF) data showed.

Based on preliminary figures from the DOF’s strategy, economics and results group, the government last year collected P147.4 billion in excise taxes from cigarettes, P79.7 billion from alcoholic drinks, and P42 billion from sugar-sweetened beverages.

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Last Thursday, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III noted that last year’s sin tax take was nearly double of the combined P143.5 billion from tobacco and alcohol products in 2015.

However, the actual 2019 collections from cigarettes as well as alcoholic and sugary drinks fell short of the P284.2 billion that the DOF wanted to collect.

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The government had programmed collections from cigarettes to reach P162.2 billion last year; from alcohol, P84.7 billion; and sugar-sweetened beverages, P37.3 billion.

The Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act that took effect in 2018 slapped the new levy on sugary drinks not only as a revenue-generating measure but also to lessen consumption and improve Filipinos’ health.

Moving forward, Dominguez was optimistic that the new sin tax laws that further jacked up excise taxes on cigarettes, alcoholic drinks and also e-cigarettes this year will benefit both government revenues and Filipinos’ well-being.

“In 2019, we made history by raising excise taxes on tobacco products twice under the same administration. This month, a new set of sin taxes on e-cigarettes and alcohol was enacted. While discouraging smoking, vaping and binge drinking, the new excise taxes will help us fund the Universal Health Care program that will primarily benefit low-income families,” Dominguez said.

The Finance chief was referring to Republic Act No. 11346 that raised cigarette taxes and RA 11467 covering alcohol, heated tobacco and vaping products, which both took effect on Jan. 1.

Sin tax collections were expected to reach P361.2 billion this year. —Ben O. de Vera

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TAGS: Department of Finance (DOF), excise tax, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III
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