Abad confident on passage of unitary sin tax bill

March 27, 2012 1:13 am 

MANILA, March 26 — Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad is confident that the proposed reforms in the current sin tax structure will be approved by lawmakers.

“Compared to other attempts, this is the best chance,” he said.

Both the House Bill 5727, authored by Cavite Rep. Joseph Emilio Abaya, and the proposed bill by Ilocos Sur Rep. Eric Singson Jr., are now being studied by the House of Representatives' Ways and Means Committee.

Abaya’s bill is pushing for a unitary tax system for both the cigarette and alcohol products while Singson’s bill is calling for a system, which is similar to the existing one.

Abad explained that lawmakers have realized the benefit of the P60 billion that will be collected in the first year of implementation of the unitary tax system.

Bulk of the P60 billion is intended for health programs of the government like rehabilitation of hospitals, construction of new health facilities, and wider Philhealth coverage.

“The congressmen are realizing that this is the direct benefit that their constituents can get from a measure like this, so there really is a direct palpable benefit once it passes,” Abad said.

There are less than 20 provinces in the country that are producing tobacco products but all the provinces in the country will benefit from the proceeds of the higher sin tax collection, he added. (PNA) DCT/lgi/JS

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