Group hits Finance over delay of tobacco tax

A civil society group has criticized the Finance Department for bowing to pressure from tobacco companies and deferring the imposition of a higher excise tax on cheap cigarettes online and alcohol products.

Maricar Limpin, executive director of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Alliance Philippines, said the government should not wait until 2012 to discuss the issue of raising taxes on alcohol and tobacco.

“The government should not allow any tobacco company to dictate our congressmen and senators. Who are these tobacco company officers to tell our elected officials that our taxation system should not be disturbed until 2011,” she said.

Finance finally agreed to defer any possible increase in the excise tax on sin products, especially alcohol and cigarettes to 2012, due to the global economic slowdown.

The department said any amendments to the excise tax structure on cigarettes marlboro and liquors would likely take effect after the full implementation of the indexation of excise tax on tobacco and alcohol products by the end of 2011.

The Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council agreed that imposing higher excise tax on sin products this year would be ill-advised as the excise tax rates were bound to increase by 8 percent next year.


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